February 25, 2024

Opinion
By Larry Keane

Crying Liberty
iStock Jonathan Barbour

More than half of New Yorkers now believe their state is in decline and won’t get better soon. Go figure, crime is listed as the Number 2 reason for the reported despair – behind only the cripplingly high cost of living. Recent events have led to a surge in crime leaving countless New Yorkers feeling susceptible to the violent wills of criminals.

The feelings aren’t political either, as according to a new Siena College poll, there’s wide agreement among each party affiliation – Republican, Democrat, and Independent – that violent crime remains a serious issue. At least 64 percent of each respective group says so.

“In assessing the severity of problems facing New York, there is, surprisingly, considerable agreement among Democrats, Republicans, and independents,” Siena College poster Steven Greenberg said of the findings.

Unfortunately, there’s some bad news-good news, though, for residents of the Empire State who want to exercise their right to defend themselves with a firearm as things are likely getting a lot worse before they get any better.

Bad And About to Get Worse

It’s no surprise crime has remained a top concern for New Yorkers. It’s been that way for several years and top city officials, including Mayor Eric Adams, haven’t done nearly enough to get tough on criminals. The mayor blamed the media for covering rampant crime, blaming them for scaring city residents and keeping crime in the headlines.

“Residents start their day picking up the news, the morning paper, they sit down, and they see some of the most horrific events that may happen throughout the previous day,” he bemoaned. That was in July, just a few months ago when more than 70 percent of city residents said they were either very or somewhat concerned about crime. The “tough on crime” mayor has yet to offer any solutions.

Adding to the mix are George Soros-backed soft-on-crime prosecutors like Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg who refuses to prosecute criminals when they are arrested. On his first day in office, he announced he would not prosecute several different types of crime, giving criminals free rein on the city in the name of “racial equity” in the system. DA Bragg even admitted he himself was concerned about Gotham’s crime situation, stating, “When one of my family members gets on the train, I get a knot in my stomach.”

Now, a new report from the New York City Police Department shows the bad situation is about to get a lot worse for law-abiding New Yorkers who just want safety. According to pension data, 2,516 NYPD cops have left so far this year, not counting December totals, marking the fourth highest number in the past decade. The data reveals the departures are likely not about money for the men and women in blue. The number of cops quitting before they reach the 20 years required to receive their full pensions skyrocketed from 509 in 2020 to 1,040 so far this year — an alarming 104 percent increase, according to the New York Post.

Police remaining in the force worry the exodus will only get worse because the city plans to cancel the next five Police Academy classes, shrinking the nation’s largest police force to the smallest that New York City has fielded in decades.

Good News in a Bad Situation

It’s not just the city-level politicians who are making life worrisome for New Yorkers. Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul hasn’t helped. New York is already one of the strictest states for gun control laws in the country for the restrictive and subjective “may issue” concealed carry permit laws that were in place just a few years ago. Once the U.S. Supreme Court struck down “may issue” laws in its Bruen decision, the governor didn’t hold back her disdain for the court’s decision.

She called the decision “disturbing,” “frightful” and “shocking.” In the wake of Bruen, she doubled down with even more restrictions on law-abiding New Yorkers who want to arm themselves for protection.

But in a bit of good news in the meantime, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit just struck down portions of Gov. Hochul’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act, her legislation enacted in response to Bruen. According to The Hill, the Second Circuit judges’ ruling blocks three provisions. The judges invalidated a requirement that concealed carry permit applicants must disclose their social media accounts and struck a provision banning gun possession by default on private property. The judges also prevented the state from enforcing a gun possession ban at places of worship.

“The State points to no historical law conditioning lawful carriage of a firearm on disclosing one’s pseudonyms or, more generally, on informing the government about one’s history of speech,” the judges wrote about the social media requirement. While the ruling is good news for law-abiding New Yorkers, the rest of the law remains intact for now and is unlikely to be the last word in the fight as the dispute could ultimately be heard at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cause and Effect

With increased violence in cities across the country, lax prosecutors showing favor to criminals over victims and police departments losing thousands of cops to protect innocent civilians, it’s no wonder why so many are turning to the Second Amendment to be their own best line of self-defense.

Chris Cheng, who testified in the U.S. Senate in 2021 about the historic rise in minority gun ownership, stated it plainly when he testified before Congress.

“The past year-and-a-half or so with COVID-19 has been a pressure cooker… When you couple that with calls to defund the police and taking law enforcement officers off the street… it makes citizens like me less safe,” Cheng said. “If I can’t have law enforcement there, then it is a rational conclusion that individual citizens like myself would opt to utilize my Second Amendment right to purchase a firearm and use that firearm in lawful and legal self-defense,” he testified.

That was two years ago, and in places like Cheng’s California or in New York, crime is still a major concern. Gun control politicians who continue to push for more restrictions on law-abiding citizens just aren’t getting it. As a result, more Americans are buying firearms than ever before. If these politicians continue to fail their employers, they, too, may be shown the door.

 


About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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